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Deaths of 4 blamed on Texas teenager’s alleged drunk driving

A Washington County, Texas, teenager was imprisoned on $2 million bond following his arrest for a drunk driving accident that took the lives of four people. The 19-year-old illegal immigrant is charged with intoxication vehicular manslaughter just weeks after another arrest for driving while under the influence.

A Brenham police officer had stopped the young man in late July after an off-duty Washington County deputy saw the teen driving recklessly. The teenager was charged with DUI by a minor. Police say bail was posted and the man was released.

Sheriff’s deputies in Washington County do not believe that federal immigration authorities were notified of the teenager’s first DUI arrest. Authorities claimed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were not involved at the time in cases below a Class B misdemeanor. The DUI charge is Class C.

The latest drunk driving charges for manslaughter were the result of a late-night, two-vehicle crash where FM 109 crosses Highway 36 South. Reports from sheriff’s deputies say the teenager’s pickup truck broadsided a 1998 Ford Mustang at the intersection. The car was shoved more than 30 yards in the crash.

All four occupants of the Mustang were pronounced dead at the accident scene.

The young pickup driver was not injured and fled to a mobile home park close to the accident scene. Deputies located the suspect within a short time and arrested him. He was taken into custody and transported to the Washington County jail.

The District Attorney has promised a thorough investigation. An accident reconstruction will take place to help determine exactly how this tragedy occurred.

Source: Brenham Banner-Press, "Driver charged in deaths of four," Aug. 22, 2011

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